Thursday January 12, 2023 – Xianming Zhang, Ph.D.

Xianming Zhang, Ph.D.

Assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University


Assessment of complex organic mixtures in air and water via non-targeted chemical screening and in silico modeling



In our modern society and daily life, we use tens of thousands of chemicals, most of which find their ways to enter ambient environment. In the environment, chemical transport and transformation processes are associated with their environmental and health impact. How to allocate limited resources to studying environmental processes and impact of the most important contaminants is challenging considering the complex mixtures of chemicals in the environment and continuous appearance of “emerging contaminants”. In this presentation, I will introduce how I use chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry to screen for lesser-known chemicals of environmental concern and to direct our studies on environmental sources, processes, and impact of anthropogenic chemicals and their transformation products. This approach, known as nontargeted analysis (NTA) is featured with large dataset gained from instrumental analysis. Linking information gained from the instrument and environmental impact of organic contaminants is the challenge we are trying to address. I will share my investigations on screening organic contaminants in air and in water using gas chromatography and liquid chromatography linking with high-resolution mass spectrometry. Information on molecular structure gained from the instrumental analysis together with environmental distributions were used to prioritize the chemicals for further investigation. Through a case study, I will demonstrate how NTA and environmental fate modelling can be integrated for the prioritization of chemicals of potential environmental concerns.



Xianming Zhang is an assistant professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University. He received his BSc in environmental sciences from Peking University, MSc in physical geography and PhD in chemistry from the University of Toronto. He gained postdoc training from Harvard University and work experiences from Ontario Ministry of the Environment and from Health Canada. Dr Zhang’s research program aims to better characterize environmental fate processes and impact of organic contaminants in multiple environmental media via integrated approaches that involves environmental monitoring, modelling, and controlled laboratory experiments. His recent research has been focusing on the application of chromatography and mass spectrometry based nontargeted screening for lesser-known organic contaminants of potential environmental concern. His work has made significant contributions to the environmental chemistry community with over 2300 citations and by providing scientific support to chemical management and regulations.

Date(s) - January 12, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Emplacement / Location
Université de Montréal - Campus MIL (Beer and pizza at 18h, conference at 19h in A-450)